No, it’s still weird.

In case you missed the third week of the MAK show, Mark-Anthony Kaye’s weekly segment Fridays at 8:15am on the ESPN Morning show on ESPN LA 710 and the ESPN app, it is definitely worth a listen. Coming off the heels of two rivalry games, the 6-2 drubbing of Galaxy last Saturday night, and last night’s stage advancing draw with the Portland Timbers, the hosts were eager to hear Mark’s side of the on-field, as well as off-field updates from the MLS is Back tournament in Orlando.

On Scoring His First Goal of the Season

Mark Anthony scored the second goal in the match against Portland last night to put the Club up 2-1, before the Timbers ultimately equalized in the 81st minute on a Jeremy Ebobisse header. The goal was Kaye’s first of the year, and morning show host Travis wanted to know how that felt.

“Yeah, you know I think the way the game went last week when we beat the Galaxy 6-2 I felt like my performance wasn’t the best so I knew that I wanted to take some leadership on in this game and trying to get a goal always helps calm the storm for your team and to get that one in the way we worked on it on the training ground, it was just nice to see it hit the back of the net and I just wanted us to continue off that momentum. So it was nice to get a goal early in the season.”

Is it Normal Yet? The Bubble?

The Black and Gold have now been in Orlando for about a month, in a restrictive environment, where interactions beyond the team and staff members are essentially null. The morning show hosts didn’t mince words, and simply asked Mark-Anthony if the environment was feeling a little more “normal”.

“No it’s still weird. It’s still weird. I think [sic] it’s just, I don’t know, we’ve never been in a situation like this so I don’t think three games in will change your whole perspective on the [MLS is Back] tournament, but we’re definitely adapting and we’re growing each game which is important, but it’s still very weird.”

The hosts pressed further, “what about the general vibe of the team? Just being in this situation together where you are seeing so much of each other?

“I think it’s actually good. It forces you to, you know, engage with your teammates more often which will only benefit the overall group morale, being here. So, we all know it’s a tough time for each other, so I think it’s better to lean on your teammates to get through these situations, but, it’s been good. [sic] You know, I think we’ve handled it really well, we’re not always in each other’s face and stuff so we do have the time and space to get away and have your own room but, I think it’s important to create even more of a team camaraderie in a tough time like this.

Checking in on the Social Justice Movement

From the outset of the recent aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, and ensuing call for renewed social justice reform, Kaye has been involved in voicing his support for the cause. From penning his own open letter with LAFC, to taking part in various roundtable discussions, morning show host LZ Granderson wanted to check in on how Mark-Anthony thought the work has been progressing.

“Yeah I think it’s a good start, you know I think it’s important seeing all these different sports get involved in It and using their platform, because they influence so many people. So, I think it’s still early to judge where they are and how positive the changes they’re enforcing, but, it’s just that the conversation is being had – is important and I think we need to keep going. You know, the MLS, with the Black Players for Change, we’re doing our part and you know, there’s obviously the Black Players Coalition with the NFL and the NBA guys too so, like I said it’s important that we have started the conversation but it’s too early to judge to see what kind of impact we can create because there’s still more time, like we still need more time to evaluate”. 

Kaye elaborates further, but you’ll have to check it out in the full audio above. Make sure to tune in to the MAK Show every Friday at 8:15 a.m. PT on the ESPN Morning show on ESPN LA 710 and the ESPN app, you won’t want to miss it.